The credulous Bloomberg yesterday covered Pegatron’s investor conference where the contract manufacturer announced a whopping 80 percent year-over-year growth in first-quarter profits.
Pegatron also cautioned investors that second-quarter revenue may drop between 20 and 30 percent amid the broader decline in consumer electronics demand.
However, writer Tim Culpan decided the story wasn’t newsworthy enough in and of itself. And in his quest for pageviews, the reporter reckoned he better run the piece under the more Apple’s doomsday headline, “Falling iPad mini demand to push Pegatron electronics sales down.”
Well, guess what? 24 hours later, Pegatron CEO steps forward and tells the media that Culpan put those words in his mouth and completely fabricated the ‘falling iPad mini demand’ part. And there goes Bloomberg’s credibility right down the drain…
Fortune’s methodical writer Philip Elmer-DeWitt figured Bloomberg’s sensationalistic story contradicts other sources so he reached out to Pegatron CEO Jason Cheng who responded in an email that Culpan made up the claim after Chen deflected his attempts to dig out detail numbers about some specific product:
I clearly refused to comment on specific products, nor customers, even though he continued with other questions.
I did say those words that he quotes me in the article “more on demand, while price has been stable”…, “almost every item is moving in a negative direction”…; “Not just tablets, also e-books and games consoles”.
“I did not say anything associated with any specific products,” the CEO said.
No indication, nor hint for specific products or customers’ has been our principle and guideline for any public events such as investors conference. There are always speculations after these meetings.
Indeed, Reuters today ran a story which contradicts Bloomberg, claiming that Pegatron is hiring as much as 40,000 additional workers.
It is widely believed that Pegatron needs more workers as it gears up to mass-manufacture Apple’s new iPhone, with one supplier source saying that “small-scale production of the display panel” for the rumored budget iPhone would begin in May, ramping up to mass production in June.
“It’s pretty clear that Tim Culpan at Bloomberg went into the conference with an agenda and was going to write a damning article about Apple by hook or by crook,” writes The Loop‘s Peter Cohen, calling the journalist a “f*****g douchebag.”
The problem with anti-Apple headlines by click-hungry big media: these stories get picked up by blogs and spread throughout the blogosphere like wildfire.
And with Samsung paying students to troll Apple publications with negative comments, the likes of Bloomberg aren’t doing themselves any favor bashing on Apple, especially when caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
Even Apple CEO Tim Cook cautioned investors not to base their predictions on any one single data point because Apple’s supply chain is a complex beast.